One of the most important things that families can do is to find other families and talk, network, share and learn from them. Raising a child with special needs can often be isolating as your experiences differ markedly from those families raising more typical children. You may even feel that your extended family just “doesn’t understand”.
ASCONN believes that it is important for families to connect, to share their experiences and knowledge, to understand the ups and downs of living with autism, to learn from those who have “been there, done that”.
ASCONN sponsors a number of support groups throughout the state. We also maintain an extensive network of support groups that are sponsored by other organizations and informal groups of parents getting together to talk, share, vent and support each other. Find a local support group using our search tool.
While most of the groups available are for parents, there are also groups for siblings, grandparents, and spouses who may be married to someone with autism. Also, there are specific social and support groups available for persons on the spectrum.
Don’t see a group near you that meets your needs? Be sure to check other towns within driving distance to find all the groups available to you. Or call us at 888.453.4975 or e-mail email@example.com. Know of a group that isn’t listed? Please send us the information so we can post it for other families.
A few words about support groups. Groups come in all shapes and sizes. You may need to try more than one group to find the one that suits your needs. There are groups that just have members who have children with autism, other groups include different disabilities. Some groups are all about the “sharing and caring”, others are more focused on education and learning and bring in speakers on various topics.
Remember that support is about giving as well as receiving. It is important to become part of the group and attend even when you don’t need support. Giving support to others, sharing your experiences with a parent of a younger child or someone newer to the diagnosis is just as important as getting the information you need when you are asking.